Gerald White Johnson was a journalist, editor, essayist, historian, biographer, and novelist. Over his nearly 75 year career he was known for being "one of the most eloquent spokespersons for America’s adversary culture."
He was born in Riverton, North Carolina, the son of an editor of a Baptist magazine. He graduated from Wake Forest College in 1910.
During World War I he was a member of the American Expeditionary Force. He was the first professor of journalism at the University of North Carolina. While there he published the first of many books, The Story of Man's Work, a defense of liberal capitalism. He opposed the anti-evolution movement during the "monkey trial" era.
He worked at the Baltimore Evening Sun from 1926 to 1943, when he retired to write for magazines and to concentrate on writing books.
In 1949 he served as the honorary chairman of a committee that advocated against loyalty oaths and in 1950 published an article in Harper's called "Why Communists are Valuable."
He wrote many works on topics in American history, beginning with Andrew Jackson: An Epic in Homespun.
He wrote mystery novels under the pen name of Charles North.